1970-71 and a rock band from Shillong making waves in the music scene in the country.Sounds quite far fetched right ? Not really.Because a highly ambitious and talented band called ” THE FENTONES ” had just won the coveted ” Shimla Beat Contest ” in 1971 and became the first Northeastern band to do so. They became national rock icons and regional legends.Who were they ? Where are they now? Where did they go?
The history of the band is not well known nor there are archives about them but the Anylouder team did get a few snippets into their past .Hailing from Shillong , The Fentones were originally spearheaded by veteran and the most well known rocker of the region , Lou Majaw initially quite around 67′-68′ but after a short stint he eventually ended up with The Great Society. The band then under Sherlock Giri started doing gigs extensively and finally ended up participating in the second edition of the Shilma beat contest in 1971. Roland’s voice was strong and raw quite incorporating the likes of Ian Gillian and Mick Jagger while Bing was hailed as one of the best bassist from the region.After winning the contest in mumbai they got the chance to record the theme for the contest.The Fentones were impressive playing mostly originals and being a band that relied less on gadgets and more on their performances.They garnered a loyal fan following and were living the rock n’ roll dream signing autographs for fans and embracing their love and support.The band got numerous felicitations back home.After the competition the band continued to travel and play gigs all over india playing in KUNA DISCO and other places till they disbanded in 1997.In an interview to noted freelance journalist Shamik bag , Sherlock was quoted saying in a quivering voice of a late sixties man as :
” The Fentones primarily won because we played originals and didn’t rely on gadgets and stuff.I recall giving interviews after the contest.Winning the contest was just the encouragement we needed as young musicians.It set me on the music path”
The band :
Sherlock – Lead guitars